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Planning for the future during the coronavirus pandemic

Planning for the future during the coronavirus pandemic

The importance of planning for the future during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Financial Times has recorded a surge in demand for will writing, as a result of the growth of the coronavirus crisis, due to the fear of a sudden loss of life.

Why it is crucial to have a will during the COVID-19 pandemic

Increasing numbers of people now feel there to be an urgent need for advice on will planning and inheritance tax planning. However, it is not just the elderly who need wills. If you have children under the age of 18 years, a guardianship clause, for instance, should be an essential part of your will. It is important to be prepared for if the situation arose in which both parents were to die as a result of contracting coronavirus. In both wills, there should be measures in place which would ensure the appointment of suitable guardians to look after the children, as well as the appointment of appropriate Trustees who can look after money for the benefit of the children. In the past, it would have been unusual to think of both parents dying at a similar time. However, unfortunately, this can become a reality if both parents, living in the same household, are badly affected and die as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The importance of financial preparedness

It is important to make time now to focus on sorting out financial affairs, rather than leaving it to a later date. Putting in place a financial Power of Attorney is crucial, so that someone you trust can step in if you lose capacity to manage your financial affairs. Furthermore, a health and welfare Power of Attorney can ensure that in the event that you lose capacity, those you trust can make decisions in your best interest about your health and welfare, rather than leaving it to professionals to make those decisions on your behalf.

Living Wills

Interest in making a Living Will has increased significantly. Every adult, especially if over the age of 60 or with a chronic underlying health condition, needs to immediately consider their health care related documents, including their Living Will and their health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. In your Living Will, you can designate what life prolonging treatment should be given to you in certain situations.
It is a tough reality that many people will become ill and too many will die. You need to ensure that you have the correct documents in place rather than leaving it to chance.

Why you should act now

It is clear that everybody needs to create a will, if they have not done so already, or review their will, especially if circumstances have changed since the previous will was prepared. You need to urgently consider making financial and health and welfare Powers of Attorney, as well as decide whether a Living Will would be appropriate for you. Not taking appropriate action now could cause significant problems for you and your family in the future. Legal advice should be sought from specialist solicitors sooner rather than later.

To make a new will or update a current one, speak to Howard Cohen on 0113 320 5000 or email howardc@winstonsolicitors.co.uk

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